Saturday, 21 November 2020 19:10

Sri Lanka’s prisoners to be deployed for maize cultivation

Sri Lanka’s prisoners are to be deployed for maize cultivation to tackle the current shortage of commodity and to increase production.

Agriculture Ministry has agreed to provide 5,000 acres of state land to Avant Agro (Pvt) Ltd., a subsidiary of Avant Garde Maritime Services (Pvt) Ltd headed by Major (Retd) Nissanka Senadhipathi.

A proposal was submitted by Avant Garde Maritime Services to the Prime Minister to rehabilitate drug addicts and prisoners by allowing them to develop skills development for better social integration and employability.

An agreement was reached between the Ministry of Agriculture and Avant Agro (Pvt) Ltd towards this end. .

Although 40,000 acres are required for the project, the Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture, Major General (Retd) Sumedha Perera, has only approved the allocation of 5,000 acres as a pilot project.

The letter issued by the Secretary to the Ministry of Agriculture stated that: the company has identified a productive avenue pertaining to the cultivation of maize that can actively contribute to the rehabilitation of prisoners at a time when the government has imposed restrictions on the import of maize.

Due to the import restrictions, there is a shortfall of 200,000 metric tons of maize per annum. It has been brought to ministry notice that it has the capacity to cultivate about 40,000 acres out of an area of about 80,000 acres needed to cover this shortfall


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